Going full-stack Universal JS: The best Isomorphic Javascript Frameworks

During recent years we’ve experienced the rebirth of Javascript in Web this time around with the correct application. Environment’s such as node.js together with frameworks such as ExpressJS brought forward the true potential of Javascript as a programming language, allowing developers around the world to start building applications for the servers too easily with Javascript. But these rapid improvements into web application development didn’t only bless the back-end side of things, also the front-end Javascript development community grew exponentially. Community-driven frameworks such as Google’s AngularJS (e.g. Google’s web front-end) and Facebook’s React (used in sites such as online casino site CamSpins, social media site Facebook.com). This has made development fun again, so developers spend less time re-inventing the wheel and can spend more time on entertainment such a trip to the Las Vegas strip for a bit of sun, drinks and gambling at the casinos.

The latest trend within the Javascript Web Development community is what is known as Isomorphic Javascript frameworks, which allows developers to rapidly prototype full-stack applications by only knowing Javascript. Below are some examples of frameworks with great potential:

 

MeteorJS Logo

MeteorJS

Meteor

Meteor is a full-stack isomorphic Javascript development framework, one of the first of its’ kind, that allows for great code sharing possibilities across server and client code shipping with the fast and non-relational MongoDB database for rapid app prototyping (or database of your choice really). If you’re familiar with React and don’t feel like you want to take on the steep learning curve of the Blaze templating engine Meteor uses, feel free to use React instead (official guide). There’s a CLI and deploying across multiple platforms (web and native) is supported.

Derby

Derby Logo

Derby

Build collaborative web apps, with built-in templating and server-side rendering, using Derby’s real-time framework. Derby offers the same code-sharing capabilities as Meteor and has a smaller but rapidly growing community even though it’s not fully ready for production yet like Meteor is. Views are rendered on the server which means there’s no delay in content serving.

Feathers

Feather is a increasingly popular framework of choice. It supports socket transports, it can be integrated into a existing ExpressJS projects, easy to create REST APIs and last but not least has the ability to sync events between different node instances. The documentation has room for improvement and there’s not many other sources for insights into how the framework works besides the docs which creates a steeper learning curve than the above mentioned frameworks.

Verdict

If you plan to use Isomorphic Framework for production application’s, the only framework ready for prime-time currently is MeteorJS. With that said Meteor is still a young concept and project with lots room for lots of improvements until it’s ready to take over the web. Full-stack Universal Javascript isn’t always the perfect stack for different applications, so please do you research and study the benefits and disadvantages of full-stack Javascript applications built with these frameworks. Derby has grown rapidly and illustrates great potential with a great framework philosophy argument of processing and serving the page on the server before showing it to the client. Feathers is also a framework with a lot of promising potential that you should keep bookmarked!

 

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